March 2, 2020 6:34:38 pm
A woman in Kerala’s Thrissur district committed suicide allegedly after an oracle defamed her publicly during a ceremony at a temple.
An oracle, or ‘komaram’ in Malayalam, is a man or woman who acts as a mediator between devotees and the deity at a temple, according to Hindu belief. The oracle’s remarks and pronouncements are considered prophetic by many.
During a public ritual at a temple in Manalur last week, an oracle purportedly defamed the woman, casting aspersions on her character. He also ordered her to apologise to the deity in front of nearly 200 people.
Following the incident, the woman, a mother of two, committed suicide. The victim’s brother and husband have now filed a complaint at the Anthikkad police station, demanding action against the oracle on charges of ‘abetment to suicide.’
In the complaint, the relatives allege that the woman was forced to take the extreme step after being humiliated publicly by the oracle, who purportedly made the remarks under the influence of his friend.
The police have registered an FIR and collected statements of the locals, an officer said.
The Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), an organisation that works to promote scientific temper, has demanded stern action against the oracle and slammed him for “exploiting people’s belief system”. KSSP officials also visited the victim’s home and assured support to the family.
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